Cast-iron skillets are unquestionably superior. Whether you want crispy hash browns or a tender seared steak, a cast-iron skillet will provide the greatest results!
It’s a versatile staple in most kitchens. Yet, there is one aspect of cast-iron skillets that has split the globe.
The constant dispute is on whether individuals should go for seasoned or unseasoned cast-iron cookware.
Continue reading to find out the solution to this dispute.
- Cast-iron Skillet Seasoned vs. Unseasoned
- Seasoning a Cast-Iron Skillet
- How to Care for a Cast-Iron Skillet
- Season Your Skillet Again
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillets
- In conclusion
Cast-iron Skillet Seasoned vs. Unseasoned
Currently, most cast-iron skillets come pre-seasoned. The finish on these skillets is a lovely, glossy black. Several manufacturers, however, continue to offer unseasoned cast-iron skillets.
These skillets have a unique matte gray finish.
When you cook food in an unseasoned cast-iron pan, it will cling to the surface. The skillet may not even heat up. This is why you must warm it for at least 10 to 15 minutes on a medium burner.
When it comes to preseasoned skillets, you must maintain the lustrous black surface.
While cast-iron is supposed to be indestructible, it is sensitive to moisture and rust. The oxygen and moisture in the air might dull the sheen of your pre-seasoned skillet.
This is when seasoning comes in handy. It will maintain the brilliance of your skillet while also allowing it to acquire nonstick properties.
Foods that tend to adhere to the surface, such as eggs and fish, may be readily fried. They will slide straight off the surface!
Thus, in reality, the more seasoned a cast-iron skillet is, the simpler it is to cook in it!
So what exactly is cast-iron seasoning?
What Exactly Is Cast-Iron Seasoning?
Cast-iron seasoning is the process of coating your cast-iron skillet with hardened oil.
When seasoning a cast-iron skillet, simply bake a coating of carbonized oil onto the pan’s surface. This will provide a protective covering for your skillet.
The seasoning will appear as a natural, easy-release finish, making cooking and cleaning a breeze.
When you heat oils and fats in a cast-iron skillet to a high temperature, they go from a fluid liquid to a slick, solidified state. This process is termed polymerization.
It produces an exquisite seasoning layer that is molecularly glued to the cast-iron. Without this protective coating, the moisture and oxygen in the air will cause your cast-iron skillet to corrode and rust.
Are you wondering why this seasoning works on cast-iron skillets?
Cast-iron, on the other hand, has a naturally jagged, uneven surface. This excellent roughness provides greater surface area for the carbonized oil to bind and stick to the iron.
Seasoning a Cast-Iron Skillet
If you have an unseasoned cast-iron pan, you should season it in the oven. If you don’t want to go that way, prepare foods that need a lot of oil on your skillet.
Deep-fried foods or foods with a high fat content, such as bacon, are ideal companions for a cast-iron skillet.
This is because every time you cook with fat or oil, you are unintentionally seasoning your skillet.
There are two straightforward methods for maintaining the seasoning of your pre-seasoned cast-iron pan.
The simplest method is to cook in it on a regular basis. This will allow the oil to season your skillet another layer.
Over time, these hardened layers will contribute to a durable, nonstick cooking surface.
The second method is to season the skillet in the oven. All cast-iron lovers favor this method of seasoning.
As you season your cast iron in the oven, a thick film of solidified oil forms all over your skillet.
This approach is perfect for seasoning a new cast-iron skillet or restoring an old, rusted one.
Here’s how to season a cast-iron skillet:
Clean Your Skillet
You may have heard that you should never use soap to clean a cast-iron skillet. It isn’t totally correct, particularly if you’re preparing to reseason your skillet.
Wash your skillet with a little quantity of soap.
This will remove any food particles as well as crusty rust fragments from the surface of your skillet. It will also aid in the creation of a smooth covering.
If your skillet is coated with rust, use steel wool to clean the red colour off. You can also use it to clean the exterior of your skillet.
Your Skillet Must Be Dried
Secondly, you need to dry the skillet as completely as possible. This is because any remaining water droplets on your skillet would obstruct smooth seasoning.
To fully dry your skillet, use a lint-free cloth or a paper towel.
You may also place your skillet on the burner on low heat for a minute or two to allow the water to evaporate.
Apply some oil to your skillet.
Cooking oil should now be applied to the surface of your cast-iron skillet. Generally, canola oil is used to season cast-iron skillets.
But, you may also use maize or vegetable oil. While you may season your skillet with any oil, the aforementioned oils are more superior.
This is because they have a high smoke point. Since you’ll be heating your skillet to high temperatures, any oil with a low smoke point will fill your oven with smoke.
Meanwhile, canola or vegetable oil will resist the heat without producing smoke.
Smear a thin coating of oil on the surface of your skillet using a paper towel or lint-free cloth. Cover the whole area, both inside and outside.
Continue to work the oil in until the skillet no longer seems oily. You should use a little amount of oil since too much will not season your skillet.
Instead, the oil will form pools and you will end up with hard drops of polymerized oil on the skillet.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
You must now expose your cast-iron skillet to even heat, which is impossible to do on a burner. This is why you need to put your skillet in your oven.
Preheat the oven to 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit. To collect any extra oil, line the bottom rack of your oven with aluminum foil.
Turn your skillet upside down on the middle rack of your preheated oven. This will keep the oil from accumulating on the cooktop.
Place the skillet in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn off your oven and let the skillet to cool within it. This enables the seasoning to cure and adhere to the iron.
Alternately, for a genuinely firm coating of seasoning, repeat the oiling and heating step a couple more times.
This is extremely helpful for repairing a broken skillet. Put on your oven gloves and remove the pan from the oven to re-oil it.
Rub some more oil into it with another paper towel. Return the skillet to the oven for another 30 minutes. Continue this procedure 2 to 3 times more, or until the seasoning is to your liking.
How to Care for a Cast-Iron Skillet
Your cast-iron skillet is fairly durable with a thick coating of seasoning on it. Yet, in order to prolong its life and maintain it in excellent condition, you must properly care for it.
Here are a few things you can do to properly care for your cast-iron skillet:
Before using, lightly season it.
Even pre-seasoned skillets need some additional protection against wear and tear.
You may gently season your new skillet by heating it on the burner for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is equally hot.
Next, using a paper towel, dab some oil into the pan and set it aside to cool. Continue this procedure until youre pleased with the seasoning.
After each use, clean your skillet.
After each usage, properly clean your skillet. Let the skillet to cool fully. Scrub any muck or particles from the bottom with a paper towel.
Finally, run your skillet under the sink and clean it using the scrubby side of your sponge.
Season Your Skillet Again
If you used soap to clean your skillet, you must immediately re-season it. Place the skillet over high heat on the stovetop.
When the water has evaporated, add half a teaspoon of vegetable or canola oil. Using a paper towel, rub it in.
Continue to heat your skillet until it is completely hot. Let the oil to cool after rubbing it one more time.
Continue to cook in your skillet on a regular basis.
The easiest approach to maintain your cast-iron skillet in excellent condition is to use it as frequently as possible. Sear, fry, and bake your meals in your skillet on a regular basis.
It will aid in the layering and hardening of the seasoning.
Don’t Soak Your Cast-Iron Skillet with Water
Never soak your skillet with water. This is because moisture is iron’s number one enemy. Even a single droplet of water on your skillet can result in a rust spot.
This rust will only be removed with a lot of cleaning, which will need further re-seasoning.
As a result, be sure to completely dry your skillet. Before storing it, use a paper towel and lightly cover it with oil.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillets
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding seasoned cast-iron skillets to help you take better care of your skillet.
Why is my seasoned skillet sticking and becoming gummy?
If you use too much oil to season your cast-iron skillet and don’t heat it long enough, it will get sticky. Just wipe away the excess oil with a paper towel.
Return your skillet to the oven for an hour to remove the stickiness.
, if you want to know more, go here.
It’s possible that the cast-iron skillet isn’t properly seasoned. The longer you heat it in your pan, the smoother it becomes.
This is because the seasoning improves with each use of your skillet, resulting in a smoother finish.
What foods should I avoid cooking in my cast-iron skillet?
Cooking acidic foods like tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus in high quantities should be avoided. This is due to the fact that they may eat away at your flavoring.
A touch of citrus, a sprinkle of vinegar, and a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, on the other hand, are just good.
Don’t use your skillet to cook alkaline foods, such as beans, for lengthy periods of time. This is because these items might ruin the thin coating of seasoning on your pan.
If you are preparing these meals in a pan, it is recommended to first enhance the seasoning.
Why are black seasoning flakes falling off my pan?
Your seasoning coating may flake off your skillet at times. This occurs when the seasoning layers have not properly bonded with the cast-iron.
If your skillet is flaking, just scrape it clean with salt or a nylon brush. Next, as fully as possible, rinse and dry it.
Put some canola oil on the skillet and bake it to create a thicker coating of spice.
To summarize, seasoning your cast-iron skillet is the finest method to prolong its life and make the most use of it!
Season your skillet using the way described above. Follow the care instructions for your seasoned cast-iron skillet.
More articles that you may be interested in reading
- 10 Things You Can Easily Cook in a Cast Iron Pan
- How to Tell How Old is a Cast Iron Skillet?
- Why Do Cast Iron Pans Crack and How to Fix It?
- How to Season a Griddle Pan (All You Need to Know)
- What Not to Cook in a Cast Iron Pan?